John Knowles Paine

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John Knowles Paine

John Knowles Paine (January 9, 1839 – April 25, 1906), was the first American-born composer to achieve fame for large-scale orchestral music. The senior member of a group of other composers collectively known as the Boston Six, Paine was one of those responsible for the first significant body of concert music by composers from the United States. The other five were Amy Beach, Arthur Foote, Edward MacDowell, George Chadwick, and Horatio Parker.

Life

Paine grew up in a musical family in Maine. His grandfather, an instrument maker, built the first pipe organ in the state of Maine and his father and uncles were all music teachers. His father carried on the family musical instrument business. One uncle was an organist. Another was a composer. In the 1850s Paine took lessons in organ and composition from Hermann Kotzschmar, completing his first composition, a string quartet, in 1855 at the age of 16. After his first organ recital in 1857, he was appointed organist of Portland's Haydn Society, and gave a series of recitals with the object of funding a trip to Europe where he hoped to further his music education.

On arrival in Europe Paine studied organ with Carl August Haupt and orchestration with Friedrich Wilhelm Wieprecht in Berlin. He also toured Europe giving organ recitals for three years, establishing a reputation as an organist that would precede his return to the United States. After returning to the US and settling in Boston in 1861, he was appointed Harvard’s first University organist and choirmaster.1 While acting in this role Paine offered free courses in music appreciation and music theory that would become the core curriculum for Harvard's newly formed academic music department (the first such department in the United States) and his appointment as America's first music professor. He would remain a member of the faculty of Harvard until 1905, just a year before his death.

Paine's well received 1867 Berlin premiere of Mass in D would give Paine a reputation that helped him to shape the musical infrastructure of the United States. His pioneering courses in music appreciation and music theory made the curriculum of Department of Music at Harvard a model for American Departments of Music. His service as a director of The New England Conservatory of Music (and the lectures he gave there) establish his place at the root of an instruction chain that leads (through Eugene Thayer) from George Chadwick to Horatio Parker2 to Charles Ives. He was the first guest conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra3 in the final concerts of its first season, and his works were audience favorites.4 Paine is noted for beginning American's symphonic tradition.5 He is also known for writing America's first oratorio (St. Peter), the Centennial Hymn that (with orchestra) opened the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, was a founder of American Guild of Organists, and co-edited of "Famous Composers and their Works".6

In 1889, Paine made one of the first musical recordings on wax cylinder with Theo Wangemann, who was experimenting with sound recording on the newly invented phonograph.7

John Knowles Paine was among the initial class of inductees into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame in 1998.

The Grove Music Encyclopedia says of him:

"... Paine served the Harvard community for 43 years. By his presence and by his serious concern with music in a liberal arts college he awakened a regard for music among many generations of Harvard men. His writings testify to his insistence upon the place of music within the liberal arts..."8

Paine Hall, the concert hall for Harvard's Department of Music is named after him. A history of that building9 includes many references to his pioneering role in music at Harvard.

Principal works

Opera

  • Azara

Orchestral

Chorus and Orchestra

  • Freedom, Our Queen
  • Domine salvum fac Praesidem nostrum op.8
  • Mass in D minor, op. 10
  • St. Peter: An Oratorio op. 20
  • Centennial Hymn op. 27
  • Oedipus Tyrannus op. 35
  • The Realm of Fancy, op. 36
  • Phoebus, Arise! op. 37

Organ

Notes and references

  1. ^ Ann P. Hall, Celebrating John Knowles Paine's legacy The Harvard University Gazette. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
  2. ^ Bill F. Faucett, "George Whitefield Chadwick: The Life and Music of the Pride of New England" Northeastern University Press, 2012.
  3. ^ "THE FIRST SEASON 1881-1882" Boston Symphony Orchestra. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
  4. ^ Peter G. Davis "New World Symphonies" New York Magazine, February 6, 1989. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
  5. ^ "John Knowles Paine". The Robinson Library. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
  6. ^ John Knowles Paine, Theodore Thomas, and Karl Klauser (ed). "Famous Composers and their Works". Boston, J. B. Millet company, 1891.
  7. ^ Patrick Feaster, "Theo Wangemann biography" Thomas Edison National Historical Park. Retrieved February 3, 2012
  8. ^ "John Knowles Paine". Grove Music Online. Oxford University Press. ISSN 00318299. 
  9. ^ Harvard's Paine Hall

See also

External links








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